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tomd 12-21-2008 12:43 AM

Costa Rica
I'm going to be in Costa Rica for a week, 4 days at the coast at (Manuel Antonio) not right on the water :mad: ...

ok this is a no guides hired, due to finances kind of trip with the family.

so... what I'm wondering is... should I bother with bringing a rod, if so what type, thanks,


juro 12-22-2008 01:38 AM

youre kidding right? It's definitely high on my list, from what I've read the place is infested with tarpon around Barra Del Colorado / Rio Colorado, Parismina and tortuguero as well as any inland lagoons.

From what I hear it's also one of the best destinations to chase roosterfish with a longer season than other hotspots and bluewater action is hot (but it sounds like you're not going to book a boat).

Looking at maps of Manuel Antonio I would say two things - anywhere there is a fishing boat dock where they clean fish or a restaurant on the water there will be tarpon that will make your eyes pop out. Rio Savengre to the southeast has a large estuary lagoon I am pretty sure has tarpon. There is a road leading to the shore to the northwest of the river mouth that you might work over from but I'd be careful always in foreign places you haven't been to before. There might be saltwater crocs or some crazy stuff who knows ;)

I'd pack a travel 9wt or 10wt. and hit the easy money around fish cleaning docks or better yet find lagoons full of mid-size tarpon at first light before your family obligations since it seems you can't explore the region with flyfishing as the priority.

Super heavy leader, razor sharp hooks and be glad when you jump them even if they break something. They are awesome fish.

Who know maybe a pod of roosters will strafe your beach...

tomd 12-22-2008 08:49 AM

thanks Juro
I'm not even sure if I'll get a chance to break free,and to be honest anything more than a 20lber will be too much for me down there. I have bad timing I guess.
not ony am I limited in funds, but I forgot to mention I had an umbilical hernia repaired just 5 weeks ago, so high strain is out... the fishing gods have cursed me!!!:mad: oh well, it'll be a great trip even if I blow off the fishing. I'm in alot of discomfort after just wrestling my snowblower last night. :frown:
Tom D

Mattb 12-22-2008 09:29 AM

Shore fishing on the Pacific coast of CR is a crapshoot at best. I've heard that there are more Roosters around Quepos than in other areas, but more is still certainly not a lot. I've fished CR from shore on 4 separate trips, and I think I might've seen a rooster once. As for tarpon, you're on the wrong coast, and it'd be at least a day or hard driving to get there.

If the stars align, there can be jacks found on the beaches, but they really only show up when the anchovies drift in - if you hit it right it can be great, but most days it's dead.

The rivermouths and estuaries will hold snook (Robalo in Spanish) and they're probably your best bet, especially if you can get a canoe or kayak for the estuaries. Striper flies work fine - clousers, shrimp patterns, etc. The water is likely to be a bit tannic in the estuaries, so bright colors can work great.

If you have a travel rod, I'd say toss it in the bag - you'll be kicking yourself if you have to sit through a blitz, but don't be surprised if you never even string it up. I've been going to CR for a few years now, and I don't even bother fishing the Pacific coast anymore.

One final note- property crime is a HUGE problem in CR - don't leave anything in your rental car - ever; and get the extra insurance on the rental- chances are your stereo will get stolen. Violent crime is still relatively rare, so I don't worry about that outside a few hotspots (San Jose, Tamarindo), but if you take your eyes off of anything for more than a couple of seconds, expect it to disappear.


GMflyfish 12-22-2008 09:35 AM

On a trip to some of Costa Rica's parks couple years ago I had a free day near Quepos on the SW coast. The afternoon before I went to the main dock, managed to find a boat going out next day, and split the cost with two other random singles. We trolled around all day, caught nothing. One guy had a hit on briefly, and we saw a couple sailfish following, but no takes. Highlight of the day was a pod of hundreds of spinner dolphin - leaping in the air and doing their twists. Little ones, big ones, some close to the boat. Amazing scene.
All tackle was supplied - trolling rods. Fun day, but would have been better with a fish or two on the end of the line. I did not have equipment with me. Did not try for any inshore boat fishing arrangements.
Quepos had a sizeable sportfishing fleet.

juro 12-22-2008 03:58 PM

Matt's advice sounds right on, being first-hand. On second thought I'm dropping C.R. off my personal list on favor of the Cabo area. I understand it's a more limited seasonal shot at roosters around that zone but with Jim Shaunessy (of Beulah Flyrods) having camp right there and dialed into it that's the way I'm going to go for the rooster hunt IMHO.

As far as tarpon, they are all over the carribean in seemingly every lagoon or fishing fleet dock so I wouldn't go to C.R. for just the tarpon.

It's the home of some of my favorite coffee though, second only to pure Kona :)

tomd 12-25-2008 04:35 PM

Juro, I'm mostly bummed about the coffee, they tell that almost all the good coffe is exported, so don't expect to get great coffee! :mad: :frown:
I guess I'll just be a tourist for a change and leave the rod home

Tom D

Mattb 12-25-2008 07:27 PM

It is possible to buy good beans down there, but it's next to impossible to find a decent cup of coffee - the Ticos like their coffee very thin, and usually serve it half coffee half milk - "cafe con leche".

If you can get away from the touristy spots, ask for some "queso frito" with your breakfast - it's a piece of very salty fried cheese - amazing.

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